Does masturbation increase testosterone?

Many people ask the question ‘does masturbation increase testosterone?’ because of the popular myths surrounding masturbation and testosterone levels. Despite pop science suggesting that masturbation causes testosterone to skyrocket, that’s not necessarily true.

Whilst masturbation might have short-term effects on testosterone levels, the long-term effects are not thought to be that notable. We’re taking a look at the changes masturbation can make to testosterone levels, to help boost your sexual wellbeing.

Does sexual stimulation increase testosterone levels?

When it comes to sexual stimulation the jury’s out on the effects it can have on male testosterone. Whilst studies on testosterone and sex have shown that it naturally increases during sex and masturbation, many dispute the long-term effects. 

One study in the US monitored testosterone levels in men in a sex club where one set of men observed and the other set took part. The men who took place in sexual activity had significantly higher levels of testosterone afterwards, showing that sexual acts do increase testosterone on a short-term basis. 

Interestingly, studies looking at male and female testosterone found that this pattern of a short-term increase in testosterone levels was similar in both men and women. The study saw an increase in testosterone after sexual stimulation in both genders, and found that sexual activity affects testosterone much more than existing testosterone levels affect sexual activity.

In terms of the long term effects of masturbation increasing testosterone, there is no suggestion that masturbation will increase the hormone long term. In fact, studies on testosterone have shown that men who avoid masturbating for up to 7 days will actually see an increase in testosterone.

Does Masturbation Increase Your Sex Drive?

Testosterone is linked to sex drive for both genders, and therefore the more you masturbate the higher your sex drive might be in the short-term. However, the long-term impact of masturbation on testosterone is minimal, so you don’t need to worry about masturbation increasing or decreasing your sex drive in any dramatic way. Masturbation doesn’t have any negative effects on your sex life, in relation to teststerone levels. 

Does Masturbation Have Negative Effects?

When it comes to testosterone levels, there are no negative effects to masturbating. It should not have any negative impact on your sexual performance or sex drive. However, there can be negative effects of masturbation when psychological factors come into play.

Some people experience guilt and shame after masturbating, especially if they are with a partner. Occasionally people will also desire their own touch, or the help of a sex toy, over their own partner. These psychological factors can affect overall sex drive negatively, however it doesn’t have a relationship to testosterone. These feelings are more closely linked to social factors and mental health, as opposed to the physical goings on in the body. 

Does Masturbation Have Positive Effects?

Yes - many people believe that masturbation can aid your sex life by teaching you what you enjoy in the bedroom. Aside from the benefits to your sex life, masturbation can also have some mental and physical health benefits that make it a very healthy pastime. The positive effects can include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Improving mood
  • Relieving sexual tension
  • Enhancing sleep quality
  • Increasing concentration

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